With the best will in the world, you will never be able to create enough content to meet all of your market’s appetite for content. So are asking your audience to read widely. Those other sources include your competition, as well as others who might not be competition, but definitely are not arguing a view of the issues and solutions that helps your case.
In today’s blog, we’ll show you five steps to leveraging 3rd-party content so you can meet more of your audience’s demand for content, without having a huge content team, yet still select content that helps your case
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With the best will in the world, you’ll never be able to create enough content to satisfy your market’s appetite for content. So you’re actually asking your audience to read widely. Reading widely means reading content, or listening to content, watching content from your competition.
It also means listening or consuming content from others who may not be your competition, but they’re definitely not out there arguing a case that advantages your case.
In today’s blog, I’m going to show you five steps for adding to your content library by leveraging third-party content, but leveraging select third-party content so you can meet much more of your market’s appetite for content, but be selective in the content that you share because you’re sharing only content that helps your case.
Let’s agree on a couple of very basic things. Firstly, your audience consumes a reasonable amount of content. And, secondly, you’re not going to be able to provide all of that content. But thirdly, and this is the real point I want to make, some of the content that they are reading from others than you is going to help your case, and some of it’s going to work against your case. Now, maybe it’s coming from competition, or maybe it’s just coming from others who are arguing of you, that isn’t well aligned to your view.
In a perfect world, you’d be creating all of the content that your market consumes. But none of us live in that perfect world. So what’s the next best option? Well, if you can’t create all of it, at least helping your audience to select what content they consume by playing the role of editor. Helping to select content for them that’s going to be helpful, that’s relevant, but we’re marketers at the end of the day. We aren’t these nice guys. And so it’s actually going to be helpful for you, because it’s content that’s supporting your case.
By the way, what case is that? What’s the case that you’re actually trying to argue? Of course, it’s not about your product. It’s about the problem that you solve and all of the consequences, and causes, and triggers. Now, if you’ve not seen last week’s blog, I strongly encourage you to go and see that. In last week’s blog, I showed you how to create a lot of content around a single simple message. The simple message is your problem. The lots of content comes from the causes, triggers, and consequences of that problem.
Now, back to today’s conversation. If we can’t create all of that, then let’s at least curate carefully. Let’s select, that’s the editorial role I referred you before, and curate, that is make available, make easy to access, curate content that helps your cause.
To do that you’re going to need yourself to read widely. Now, some of that content will be content that you get through very quickly. You just don’t enjoy it, you don’t feel your audience will enjoy it, or it doesn’t help your case.
So you’re going to need a reader application of some description. Personally, I like to use Feedly. Now the real power of Feedly won’t be evident to you until next week, so I’m going to show you about content promotion next week. But for now, if you’re selecting what content to consume, you do need a reader application of some sort. There’s hundreds. Again, the one I like is Feedly. That’s feedly.com, or F-E-E-D-dot-L-Y. Go with the URL.
And what the reader apps let you do is to scan through by headline from your chosen sources of good content. Scan by headline. You can then selectively read a little more and then, more selectively still, read a lot more of that content. That lets you get through a lot of content quickly.
I give it half-an-hour a day, personally. Do I write that off to training and development, my own personal development, or do I write it off to marketing? You could argue the case either way. But I spend about 30 minutes every day reading content and selecting that content and make available to you via our social channels.
Speaking of social channels, the distribution patent we’re not going to cover today. We will cover next week. But for now I just wanted to highlight for you the idea that you need lots of content.
That if you don’t provide that lots of content, then you’re asking your audience to self-select. They’ll select badly, and they’ll select sometimes well, sometimes badly. You are not perfect. We’re not perfect. But if you can play that role of curator, you’re doing them a great service. Also, you’re doing yourself a great service, because what you curate is going to be content that helps your case.
In a moment, I’ll show you how we factor for third-party content curation in the Funnel Plan, and how we leverage that. I’ll show you that on the Funnel Plan a little later on. But before I do that, I’m going to do two things. Firstly, I’ll show you the five steps to basic content curation, that is leveraging third-party content. And I invite you to share this blog with a colleague of yours. But let’s get first to those five basic steps.
We’ll start with a content grid. Again, if you’ve not seen last week’s blog, please do. Start with a content grid. So you’ve got an idea, both of the problem that you’re trying to argue to the market is a biggie. And you’ve got a sense of the sub-topics there, causes, triggers, and consequences that sit around that problem.
Second, use third-party content to add to your own stocks so you can meet more of the market’s appetite for relevant content and have them less in need of shopping. Third, use a reader application like Feedly to make the process of curating easier.
Fourth, get others on your team to add to your buffer of content. Now, I’ll talk more about having a buffer of content next week, but imagine for now that rather than having to scramble and go out and find good enough content, instead get your colleagues to be reading great content as well, maybe different content from what you read, and add the very best of that into a common and shared buffer.
And finally, distribute your curated content via social. But also consider re-blogging. Let me quickly explain. If you’re going to re-blog content, that is you’re going to take other people’s content, put it on your own blog, and you clearly can’t present it as your own. What you can do is present a summary of that content, even quotes from that content, linked to the original article. If you find yourself putting a lot of their content in your blog, then definitely put in a canonical reference. Talk to your SEO about what that means, but it basically says to Mr. Google, “I’m not trying to cheat here. I know this isn’t my content. The original source of the content is over here.” Very important to not have unintended, what Google calls canonical content, which is basically stolen content. That’s if you find yourself re-blogging rather than socially sharing.
That invites the question, “How do you bring your audience back to your own site, if you’ve sent them off to read third-party content?” We’ll answer that next week, but for now I will say, they’re going to go off and read other content anyway. But if you’re actually sharing, there is a way that through the process of sharing, you can actually bring them back, not just to read your social posting of third-party content, but actually back to your website. And I’ll show you how to do that next week.
Well, if you enjoyed today’s blog, then likely you’ve got a colleague who would enjoy the blog as well. Please, can I ask you to share the link to this blog with colleagues of yours? Why don’t you go to align.me/blog, grab that URL, and send that to a colleague now. What they’ll get at that link is the opportunity to subscribe either to our twice-a-week blog or our once-a-month “Funnel Vision Monthly,” which is like an editor’s grab of the very best of that content for that month. They may choose to do both. Many do.
If you prefer, you could also invite them to watch this on YouTube, and they can go to our YouTube channel here and subscribe there. I’d be so grateful if you would do that.
Okay, so here’s how we do this in Funnel Plan. Now let’s start by looking at the completed Funnel Plan, and we’re going to zoom in on the tactics section here, at the bottom of the Funnel Plan, where we have the ends-to-ends tactics for marketing and for sales. And you can see there that we’ve got a tactic called Promote Blog on LinkedIn. We’re going to edit that to Social Posting of Our Blog and Related Others.
So that’s it. The actual impact of that change in a Funnel Plan is minor, but the tactical consequence, of course, is going to be great because we’re more relevant to our audience, more often more relevant, and as I’m going to show you next week, we’re going to bring them back.
I’ll show you how we distribute that curated third-party content widely and bring them back to your website next week. But for now, may your funnel be full and always flowing.